The Southeast Marble Community Association (SEMCA), a group of residents that desire to represent the interests of the community, is inviting registered City Council candidates to host “meet-and-greet” community events at Hidden River Park.
Nick Wright, a SEMCA member heading this project, has been reaching out to City Council candidates to see if they are interested. The events will serve as opportunities for candidates to meet East Lansing residents and discuss their platforms and the voters’ priorities.
The idea is to promote democratic values, and Wright told candidates that the events will be “non-partisan” and “non-endorsement.”
“One of the things that helps [candidates] to better represent their platforms is really just meeting people,” Wright said. “But it’s not [always possible] for the candidate to reach out to the people or the people to reach out to the candidate, so if you’re in a position to facilitate that — it’s just assisting and making sure everything’s more workable.”
SEMCA is hoping that the more personal interactions where community members can voice their concerns will help the candidates to better understand their potential constituents and aid voters in forming more educated opinions of the candidates.
“Mostly, it’s just a drive from our community’s perspective to promote local democracy, transparency, and opportunities for our already educated community members to become more educated and also to give the candidates an opportunity to meet the constituents that they later hope to represent and serve,” Wright said.
“If there’s something a candidate is not aware of, it gives them an opportunity to become more aware of a subject that might not be known about until they get to meet with more constituents,” he continued.
Although the SEMCA Facebook Group, where the event schedule is found, is limited to only residents of the Southeast Marble Neighborhood, all community members are welcome to the events. Future dates will be posted on the East Lansing Info Community Calendar.
Wright plans on continuing the events in future elections, and he hopes to open them up to School Board, State Representative, and State Senate election candidates as well.
Currently, five people are running for the four-year seat and two for the two-year seat. You can see ELi’s reporting on the Council election race here. Candidates have until 4 p.m., July 23, (today) to withdraw from the race.
Update: The event with Adam DeLay will be on Saturday, Aug. 14, starting at 2 p.m. at Hidden River Park (1735 Mt. Vernon Ave. in East Lansing).